RFID Chips to Appear in Passports
Holy privacy out the window Batman!
Apparently, the US government has passed a mandate that will make RFID tags (primarily used in the tracking of goods, etc) mandatory in US passports. The RFID tags will transmit name, nationality, sex, date of birth, place of birth and digitized photograph of the passport holder. The government plans on eventually adding fingerprint and retina information.
There are of course the growing worries of identity theft as the information is constantly transmitted. There were of 2000 comments received regarding the mandate, 98.5% of which were negative.
The State Department has addressed concerns about the tracking of individuals by only saying “they not permit ‘tracking’ of individuals,” the department said. It will only permit governmental authorities to know that an individual has arrived at a port of entry–which governmental authorities already know from presentation of non-electronic passports–with greater assurance that the person who presents the passport is the legitimate holder of the passport.”
As far as ID theft is concerned, the administration has said a protective layer will be placed on the front cover. Tests have shown that the information from RFID tags can be picked up from up to 160 feet away with a high powered antennas.
Computer scientists from RSA Laboratories’ Ari Juels, and University of California’s David Molnar and David Wagner, have already pointed out that the encryption technology is flawed.
The whole thing sounds flawed. Why doesn’t the government just stick an RFID tags in our asses and get it over with.